Did you set resolutions for the new year? There is always room to improve and make changes as needed to reflect upon the past and how to best move forward. Like many of you, I realize the precious value of time as each year passes by it becomes even more clear that time is truly a commodity you cannot get back. One realization I’ve come to as part of holding myself accountable is that I should always look to get the most out of each day ~ not for the sake of being busy but rather managing time more effectively each day to actually get things done. Here are 5 ways to help you —
1. Set Specific and Achievable Goals with an Action Plan
Being self-employed I know the importance of setting specific/achievable goals and plans. Without plans there is no direction, kind of like driving without a destination in mind ~ you don’t know exactly where you are going to end up. I set both short term and long term goals that are broken further down into yearly and monthly and sometimes weekly depending on the level of detail/structure needed.
What I have learned is how important it is to plan each day out as well as you possibly can. Daily planning is the key to achieving your ultimate goals. You know exactly what and how you want to accomplish in a given day and those daily objectives lay the groundwork for the end goal in mind.
I take 30 minutes each morning to quickly schedule my daily plan. It’s a great way to remind yourself where you are headed. Make daily planning a habit and assuredly you will be more in tune with the direction you are moving in and the progress being made. I love this quote by Aristotle ~ We are what we repeated to do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
2. Create an Inspiring Working Environment
Where you work matters. Creating a motivating work environment is a must for optimal performance. Personally, I prefer an uncluttered, quiet room with an outdoor view. Nature inspires me to no end. Working home alone is the best way for me personally to be at my most creative. What inspires you is personal and your office environment should reflect that.
While I find working out of my home office is ideal for me, some prefer a group environment surrounded by like-minded peers. If you are in need of a personal workspace and/or are looking for opportunities to network then Made in NY Media Center by IFP is the place to check out especially for creative professionals. Engage with others and get support in your creative field while you work. A win, win situation for entrepreneurs that need those resources. Right now there is a free month offered to those that join by 1/31/2015!
3. Focus on One Thing at a Time
As the saying goes ~ never half-ass two things, whole ass one thing. A funny yet true statement. Jumping from one thing to another to another is not the quickest or most efficient way to complete a task. I’m guilty of that as well. No one can truly focus on multiple things at once as research has repeatedly shown so you might as well give your undivided attention to one thing to get the best results instead of spreading yourself too thin.
4. Stop Mindless Activities
We all do it. Frivolous activities eats up our precious time, and it’s gotten worse as technology has improved and become more invasive to our lives really. Mindless browsing from social media to silly sites, these are all distractions. If needed find an app or install software on your desktop (depending on where you need it) to notify you and track how much time you are actually spending on things that are dragging down your productivity.
5. Take Breaks & Unplug
To some this might seem counterproductive but trust me when I say it most certainly is not. Being connected at all times and working for hours straight with no end can actually backfire to where burnout tends to take hold and creativity is stifled. Stepping away for 15 minutes completely unplugged can actually give your mind a quick reset to be able to charge up again so to speak and afterwards your performance will more likely be sustained over a longer period when compared to going at it non-stop.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Made in NY Media Center by IFP